Updating cattaraugus cemetery

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Since 1990, more than 150 regulated cemeteries have failed, according to the association.

Read more: Town Supervisor Bill Reilich has said he worries efforts to preserve the stones could cause more harm than good, and that making the site more obviously a cemetery would attract vandals. At least two other pioneer-era cemeteries in Greece that were restored in recent decades were beset by hooligans, said Thomas E. Burger said after one of the cemeteries was restored in 1976 for the nation's bicentennial, "no sooner did they get the stones fixed than vandals came and knocked them over," he said.Wilkinson is among nearly 100 Revolutionary War veterans buried within Monroe County, according to a 1931 article documenting attempts then by the Civil War veterans group The Grand Army of the Republic to ensure the local graves of all soldiers in all wars were in good condition.The group, with assistance from the American Legion and others, assembled military records and mapped out the graves of each soldier, sailor and marine they could find.Although the exact reasons why the cemetery was abandoned are hazy, the 1-acre plot where Wilkinson's and other headstones lie has been in the care of the town of Greece for possibly as long as a half-century.Rumor has it that the headstones may have been initially toppled not by vandals, but by town workers many years ago to make it easier for maintenance crews to whip through the site on their lawnmowers.

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